Name: Frank Breen
Cameras: Canon XH A1 (2)
DTE Recorders: Focus FS-H200 and Focus FS-4
Editing: Adobe CS5 Master Collection running on a Quad-Core PC home build to run CS5 with GPU acceleration, a second PC – Dell Studio XPS 435T/9000 running Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.
Microphone: wireless lapel – Sony UTX-B1 and URX-P1, shotgun – Audio-Technica AT897, concert – Realistic 33-1080, soundboard – Soundcraft Spirit Folio
Support Gear: tripods, monopods, on-camera LED light, scanner, label printer, laser printer, inkjet printer, DVD duplicator, Canon EOS 50D still camera
It all started for me in 2004 when I read a story in the suburban weekly newspaper. Comcast was getting out of community access TV and a local committee was taking over. I had been searching for a new career ever since I had been laid off from a dot com company two years earlier. I joined the local station with the idea of learning the business and working in community TV. I quickly learned how to shoot and edit but I was never able to convince station management that they should hire me to produce programming. They prefer to rely on volunteers and that usually does not work because videography is hard and mostly boring work. Once volunteers find out how much work in involved in producing a video they move on to other activities.
I make most of my money as a wedding videographer. I think that I have mastered what is most important in wedding videography, keeping the bride happy, but weddings are far from all that I do. To make a living in this business a videographer must be able to shoot and edit any video that a customer might request. I have shot almost every type competitive sport that there is. Coaches and college bound athletes need video for various purposes. I also do theater, dance recitals, conferences, and lectures and when a customer drops by with a hand full of old DVDs, Mini DVs, and/or VHS tapes looking for a five-minute edited video on DVD within a day, I can do that.
I was lucky to be stepping into videography just as lower priced digital camcorders became available and at the same time powerful PCs were coming on line. This allowed me to immerse myself in digital editing and produce good quality videos on DVDs very quickly.
With the help of my friends on the Adobe Forums I was able to purchase the parts and assemble a state-of-the-art PC that takes advantage of Adobe Premiere Pro CS5’s GPU acceleration feature. As powerful as this machine is I still hate to work with HDV and HD video. I prefer to work with widescreen, standard definition video that still looks nice on flat screen TVs.
Within a year I plan to buy two new HD camcorders that will end the need for Mini DV tapes and external DTE recorders, but I will still have the problems of editing highly compressed HD files. I am hoping that the next generation of PCs and graphics cards will make editing HD video as easy as it was to edit standard definition video seven years ago.
Frank Breen – Covering all bases